Angry Mother Earth Is Finally Getting Our Attention
By James Donahue
We remember in 1998 when former Vice President Al Gore was attempting to convince
skeptical world leaders about the reality of global warming. Out of frustration he asked one television reporter what it was
going to take before people believed it was a real threat.
That happened a decade ago. Since then, Americans elected a Republican president
who declared throughout most of his eight-year term that there was no scientific proof that global warming exists. Not only
this, but George W. Bush backed away from American involvement in the Kyoto agreement, forged during the years President Bill
Clinton and Gore were in power, and dismantled years of environmentally friendly government programs in the interest of big
While Bush held that office and the federal government refused to lift a finger
to control carbon emissions, many states began acting out of desperation as did leaders of many European nations while they
watched the Arctic ice caps melt away, the tundra turn to mud and extreme weather patterns begin to ravage the land. But without
the help of the United States as a whole, it was an environmental nightmare in the making.
Now Americans have allowed the pendulum to swing once again, this time electing
a Democratic president and a Democratic majority of legislators. Our new president, Barack Obama, says he supports tough new
controls on carbon emissions. Democratic legislators are busy working on proposed new environment legislation even as world
leaders prepare for an important new meeting this fall in Copenhagen to deal with this problem on a global scale.
And already the old extreme right-wing anti-warming cronies still in power, and
who have taken payoffs from big business, are preparing to do battle, just as they have fought against the Obama health care
overhaul. Unfortunately, we can expect yet another long and hard-fought uphill battle to force US automakers and industries
to do what is right.
The fight might not be as extreme on this issue because world weather patterns
have gotten so strange, the storms so fierce, and rains so heavy and the dry spells so extreme that they can no longer be
ignored. A lot of news reporters, editors and elected officials are asking hard questions.
This, in effect, is the answer to Mr. Gore’s question. This is what it is
taking. The weather patterns, the melting of the ice caps, the fierce winter storms, the intense summer heat, the floods,
hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes and blizzards that are sweeping the land, destroying homes and killing thousands in their
paths, are at last causing us all to take a serious look at this problem.
The storms sweeping both the east and west coasts of the United States, causing
disastrous snow and mud slides and flooding desert regions of Arizona and Nevada, and dumping record snows in New England
are too extraordinary to be ignored.
The record number of tornadoes that swept the United States, including such out-of-the-ordinary
places like Southern California and Florida, are making people wonder.
That we had a line-up of deadly hurricanes, extreme rainfalls and tropical storms
that ravaged the American countryside in recent years, and the super typhoons that have been hitting the Philippines, China,
Vietnam and Japan are not normal events. The terrible fires that have burned thousands of acres throughout the southwest,
and the extreme drought that has put once prosperous farms out of business are all part of this man-made disaster.
That portions of Europe, India and other parts of the world experienced extreme
and prolonged heat waves, and California is failing to get adequate snow pack in the mountains to provide needed water for
the farms and cities is yet more evidence that something has gone wrong. There is rarely a day when meteorologists aren’t
predicting extreme weather occurring somewhere in the nation or the world.
And there is more. Consider the other cataclysmic events; the massive quake, measuring
9 on the Richter Scale that send a killer tsunami that rolled literally around the world, the 6.2 earthquakes in Costa Rica
and in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean quake, and the eruption of various volcanoes in various parts of the world. There
has been a dramatic increase in quakes along the so-called “ring of fire” surrounding the Pacific Ocean.
All of this prompted NBC to air a recent documentary that asked “Is something
wrong with Mother Earth?” Of course the story concluded with NASA scientist Dr. David Adamec saying: “The world
is not coming to an end, and things are fine.”
And Dr. Chuck Conner of the University of South Florida said it was his opinion
that the weather is not unusual either. Also, Conner said, “there’s no causal relationship” between the
severe weather and the earthquakes and volcanic activities.
The program was designed to quiet the minds of the brain-dead, but slightly alarmed
zombies that comprise the majority of the United States population. The trick was to ease their fears and put them back in
their easy chairs with a beer in one hand, watching football games on Saturday afternoon.
After all, we don’t want too many people out there thinking about this kind
of thing. They might just get angry and do something radical . . . like write letters, picket city hall, or vote for somebody
other than sold-out legislators with their hands in the pocket of big business.
So what happens now?
We maintain that more radical weather and more earthquakes and volcanic activity
will make the news in the weeks and months ahead. After a while, even the clever talking heads on our television screens won’t
be able to still the anxious feeling creeping up the backs of our spines.
Sooner or later, we are going to have to face reality. The sooner we do it, the
less sacrifice we will have to make to resolve this growing global dilemma.
Unfortunately, we may already have waited too long.